The proposal to create a police community oversight board in Nashville is teetering on the edge of failure. The legislation has been in the works for months, but recently it’s been mired in legal concerns. And Tuesday’s Metro Council meeting will decide its fate.
Activists, lawyers and some members of the City Council
have been working on drafting legislation to create a citizen review board. It would be an independent agency with the right to investigate complaints against officers. The proposal came in the
wake of a fatal shooting by police last February.
But the bill was indefinitely deferred by the council earlier this month. That basically means it’s off the agenda for good, unless the bill’s sponsor, Councilman Scott Davis, can make a last-ditch effort to convince his colleagues that it deserves to stick around — and not just any colleagues. These are the same council members who voted to defer it in the first place.
The council has brought up two specific legal concerns: The first is a requirement for Metro officers to participate in counseling and mediation “regardless of whether or not the officer is guilty of the alleged misconduct.” And another sticking point is a proposal that would give the oversight board access to police records, including information related to pending criminal cases.